First, a little background. Ceria is a family-run brewery led by Jodi and Keith Villa. In the mid 1990s, Keith created Blue Moon beer and served as a brewmaster for Coors Brewing Co. When Keith retired in 2017 and the Villas launched Ceria, the original drinks were infused with cannabis — though they have moved away from the cannabis market until it becomes federally legal.
Keith’s Ph.D. in brewing from the University of Brussels and decades-long experience in the industry enabled him to create a patented method of producing AF beer that the company says has body, flavor and head retention. Ceria’s beers are also tunnel pasteurized for shelf stability, safety and so that any residual yeast doesn’t grow and result in an alcoholic beer.
“We are aware of only two ways to create a true AF beer: through vacuum distillation and through Ceria’s patented method,” Jodi Villa said. “Vacuum distillation requires expensive equipment and utilities, while Ceria’s method does not require any special equipment. Regardless of how an NA or AF beer is made, pasteurization is crucial so that pathogens do not grow in the beer and so that any residual live brewer’s yeast does not turn NA/AF beer into an alcoholic product in the can.”